Travel nursing educator Candy Treft, RN, has worked in healthcare for nearly 20 years, working up the ranks from CNA to LPN to RN. For the past eight years, she’s worked as a travel nurse, allowing her to practice and live in 14 states throughout the U.S. She regularly shares advice for those interested in travel nurse jobs on her website at: www.thegypsynurse.com.
As nursing students in our senior year, we are faced with a myriad of choices on where we want to begin our practice. So many options can be a little daunting. Do I want to work intensive care? Would med/surg be beneficial? Love kids, but unsure if I can care for them daily?
Nursing is a unique field in that there are so many options. With positions in settings ranging from physician’s offices to corporations to cruise ships, nurses are everywhere. The nursing career that I chose wasn't something that was promoted in nursing school. I had never even heard of a traveling nurse until I had been working as a nurse for several years.
Most travel nursing positions require 1-2 years in your 'specialty,’ whether this might be med/surg or trauma ICU. I recommend at least two years as a new graduate nurse prior to setting out on a travel nursing career.
What can I expect as a travel nurse?
- Travel nurses practice in a variety of areas, from ICU to psych to home health and beyond.
- Contracts or assignments can range from 4-26 weeks. Overseas assignments generally range from 1-2 years.
- Most commonly, travel nurses work through an agency.
10 Things I Love About Travel Nursing
Why I have found travel nursing to be an amazing career can be summarized in this top 10 list:
- The excitement of arriving in a new city
- Having friends spread across all 50 states
- Never knowing when and where I will see my travel friends
- Learning new techniques, procedures and equipment
- Connecting with a place like a local
- A feeling of camaraderie among fellow travel nurses
- Time with family is more important and rewarding
- Touching countless lives and making a difference
- Experiencing the unique foods across America
- Freedom to explore and reach my dreams
If you’re interested in a career as a travel nurse, you can connect with me and learn more about the steps to take at www.thegypsynurse.com.
Learn more about other nurse specialties.
By Molly Mattison
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